RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will have access to the Android Market. This seems confirmed as of now. The BlackBerry PlayBook may be a business oriented tablet device but is making almost as much noise as any other tablet with a mass appeal. The reason, among many others is its security aspects, coming as it is from the makers of the BlackBerry smartphones which has gained worldwide reputation being secure and reliable devices. So it surely does make the tablet something to look forward to, not only by the business community but the general users as well.
However, contrary to earlier rumors, its not Google’s Dalvik virtual machine that would do the trick. Instead, RIM has decided to build its own set of codes that it believes will open up the Android Market to them. The decision is a wise one as Google has already landed itself up in a legal mess with Oracle where the latter has accused the search giant of having copied patented Java codes for developing the Android operating system. The matter is still sub-judice and using the open source Dalvik virtual machine ran the risk of RIM being sucked into the ongoing Google Oracle imbroglio.
RIM has said they will ready with their version of the solution towards the second half of the year. RIM however is not confirming the developments though three individuals closely related to the project have announced these are indeed true. The reason why RIM is anxious to have Android Market access is obvious. With more than a hundred thousand apps available for download, the number alone justifies the move. More so when RIM’s very own BlackBerry App World is able to boast of just about 20,000 apps at the moment. With the large number of apps on offer combined with the proven RIM credentials of security and messaging as is evident in the BlackBerry range of smartphones, the PlayBook tablet will surely start off on the right note in comparison to the Apple iPad.
However, there might still be dark clouds hovering around in the absence of Google’s Dalvik software. This since its Dalvik that forms the Java software code that makes it possible to run the Android apps. With its absence, those apps that are very closely related to Android might not run properly or, in extreme cases, might fail completely. So it all depends on how RIM and its ability to come up with a software that can be as good as Dalvik. What is making things a bit more complicated is that RIM is using the QNX operating system for the PlayBook. RIM had acquired the QNX software from Harman International Industries Inc. in a deal worth $200 million last April. RIM justifies the use of QNX as the operating system for the PlayBook tablet as it considers it to be more reliable than other operating system currently in use which was developed for smartphones and have been adapted for use in tablet PCs. Experts though believe QNX is similar to Android in that both the operating systems are based on the same common Posix standard.
So one will have to wait to see what comes out of the entire episode.